From: Jim on 04/30/2008
I learned the hard way about windows 2000 and my new 500 GB HDD (and it seems 98, SE, ME and XP also have this same of problem). I hope this helps someone else.
The basic problem is that older motherboards can't handle larger hard drives (137 GB) without a BIOS upgrade, and/or older windows versions can't handle it without service packs installed.
Quickly, here's what I had to do: Install win 2000 and let it create a default 137GB partition, I can "stretch" it later. I get service packs installed up to SP4 and used regedit to make the "EnableBigLBA" registry setting and turn it on (see links below for other programs that do this for you). Then I used the FREE disk magic type program I found to "stretch" the partition to 500GB, reboot and everything works now!
From what I read, it's about the same process for win XP and 98.
My motherboard was newer and already had support for "48-bit Logical Block Addressing (LBA) as defined in the ATA/ATAPI 6.0 spec". Which basically means when you boot, go to BIOS setup (hold down DEL key) and see if it sees the drive as 500GB or not, if it doesn't see 500GB then you need to upgrade your BIOS as I understand it (or get a new MB).
This whole thing is really stupid, and SP3 or SP4 should just fix the HDD thing and then allow you to stretch the damn partition easily, but you know how geeky microsoft is.
The best solution is to use a newer CD version of 2000 or XP that already has SP3 or above already installed on the CD. I didn't have that.
OK, so the secrets are knowing about this "EnableBigLBA" thing, and knowing that the FREE "Parted Magic" program is available, so here's the links, hope this helps.
Parted Magic, download and make a bootable CD from the ISO file, great easy to use program and has all GUI stuff and some other tool programs that may save you someday. GNU open source and all that.
Enable LBA TOOL, program utility that help you set the "EnableBigLBA" registry entry. Use google if these links are old.
Other info on this situation.